T Nation

To Cook or Not to Cook?


In studying for my genetics test last week and in surfing the web for a better way to wrap my head around the intricacies of Mitosis and Meiosis I ran across an article about the Primal Diet.

This diet a.k.a the Raw Diet or Paleolithic Diet claims that because man's digestive track has not evolved from our hunter/gatherer ancestors we would be far healthier eating only raw foods including raw meat.

This diet further claims that by cooking food, roasting nuts and pasteurizing milk our food loses the natural enzymes inherent in it thus destroying the foods nutritional value and making it harder to digest. I am aware there is some nutrient loss when say eating boiled spinach versus raw spinach but my question is to what extent????

Before I start stuffing my face with raw ground chuck and subjecting myself to the risk of getting food poisoning I am interested in how much truth are in these claims.

How large (if it can be quantified in some way) is the difference in nutrition value between cooked and raw food? Does anyone have any good sources where one can find info on this?


There is a difference in nutrition betwean cooked and uncooked of course.

I would reccomend that you not be an idiot, and just cook your food. I'd assume that many years ago their were not as many diseases and chemicals in meats. Only eat raw foods if your going out on a sushi date.


I also recommend this. Strongly.


Uh -- ya. Cooking tends to break things down -- like denaturing proteins (enzymes). However, the supremely beneficial side effect is that it also breaks down things like Trichinosis, Giardia, and E. coli.

Not all things associated with progress, science, and the modern world are inherently bad.

You don't want one of these crawling around your gut.


I would like to note that denaturing proteins isn't anything to be worried about. What do you think happens to them during digestion?